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Fighting Dangerous Ideas

Posted By: Randy GageMay 20, 2015

My recent post on living by a congruent philosophy (and some other ones) raised some inadvertent side issues. Some readers felt I was suggesting religious people don’t think rationally, some felt I was too hard on religion, and others have accused me of being on a crusade to destroy all religions. (In fact, my friend Alan Weiss says I have such a deep-seated need to make a case against organized religion that I require therapy.)  

Far be it from me to deny I need therapy, but let’s clear up what we can, and focus on what I think are the real issues that we have to address to live in a prosperous world...

First, as for the charge that I suggested religious people don’t think rationally, there’s really no way around this. I won’t try to temper this or walk it back. I never suggested religious people don’t think rationally; I have stated it unequivocally numerous times.

I have no problems at all if you believe Noah carried two dinosaurs on the ark, Indra was born fully grown from his mother’s side, Buddha was born and instantly took seven steps to proclaim he was the World-Honored One, or Jonah swam around in the belly of a large fish for three days. But we have to all agree that believing things like these is not rational.

However, I have no hostility about this and will defend to the death the right of anyone to have irrational beliefs. Everyone has some illogical or unfounded beliefs, myself included. That’s part of the perfect imperfection of being human.

I’ve spent the last 25 years working on how we develop our core foundational beliefs and how those beliefs can cause us to achieve success, or self-sabotage it. While many of the insidious self-sabotage beliefs come from government and pop culture influences in the datasphere, the biggest percentage of them comes from centuries of teaching perpetuated by organized religion.

Most religious dogma is no different really than believing seven is a lucky number, or blowing on the dice for luck at the craps table.  And some of it, such as the belief that we are our brother's keeper, and should love each other, is really quite beneficial to society. (The recent Nepalese earthquake relief effort is a perfect demonstration of how religious people can do amazing good in the world.)

The problems arise when your beliefs teach you to harm, enslave, or even kill others. And that is the point of my posts and the issue we are facing as a society.

There are far too many people who take their holy books literally, as the word of their supernatural creator. These books are filled with savagery, barbarianism, and killing. More importantly, they contain very dangerous ideas - and dangerous ideas need to be attacked whenever they present themselves.

The moral progress humanity has made over the last few centuries is tangible and substantial. We’ve made steady advancement toward a more enlightened society. The one area holding us back is the large group of followers who refuse to acknowledge that their holy books are not the literal word of god, but written by men with the prejudices, superstitions and savagery of the times.

Any holy book or scripture that promotes violence against others is neither.

We have to acknowledge that ideas such as slavery, or treating women like chattel are no longer acceptable in a modern, enlightened society.  Any ideas based on the premise that any human being is inferior or is not deserving of all human rights, based on their gender, religion, or sexuality are morally reprehensible. The idea that people can be killed because they are non-heterosexuals, apostates, and non-believers is so despicable that it should have lost any traction at least 100 years ago.

I don’t want to end religion. It can (and does) do so much good in the world. But in order to do that, today’s religious leaders have to agree that everyone is entitled to basic human rights and treated equally under the law. Everyone has the right to think, believe and act as they choose, provided those thoughts, beliefs and actions don’t infringe on the equal freedom of other members of society.

Religion has the potential to help the world in numerous ways. It provides comfort, solace and spiritual sustenance to millions.   We don’t need to abolish religion. But we do need to stand up against dangerous, anti-humanity ideas, no matter who is promoting them. Only then will we achieve an enlightened society.

-RG

54 comments on “Fighting Dangerous Ideas”

  1. I don't think Noah had two dinosaurs, but I think he had some rhinos that kinda look like them. Easy mistake considering all the animals there.

  2. You're on the money as usual. While the basic tenets of most religions are good (
    i.e. golden rule) it is the power and control group that seem to always
    rise to the top that have caused so many problems over the centuries.
    That has resulted in loss of true spirituality in the name of Religion.

  3. Randy, as your argument from you original post is extended I am able to understand your perspective better and find common opinions.  I do believe, however, that you are placing undue emphasis on rationality.  Artists, philosophers, academics, historians and clerics cannot agree on how to define nor value rationality.  The book Natural Reasoning (authored I believe by Dr. Stephen Thomas, explores this dilemma).  I agree with you, however, that any religious expression that demeans individuals or people should be questioned and challenged.  As a follower of Christ, I find his teaching in the New Testament to be meaningful for my life and eventual physical death.  His basic premise to love others as you love yourself remains the most selfless of declarations ever made by public leaders, regardless of faith or belief.  The Old Testament, read away from the context of Christ' teaching and the New Testament is problematic.  So, it is my goal to think and act in a way that the teaching of Christ can be seen thru me....yet to do so can often lead to irrational acts.  An example would be the Egyptian Christians murdered by ISIS for their following Christ who did not resist and did not run.  So, I read the words of Christ in the New Testament and the words of Kerrikergard in Sickness Until Death...the obvious tension seems to bring harmony to my day.  Keep writing - your words are causing us to think and what a man or woman thinks determines what they do...

  4. Hey Randy. Thanks for this post. I am so with you and feel your comments are rational. Having been brought up in a strict Indian/Sikh religious and cultural background, all my power and strength was stripped away from me from birth. Even more so as a female in a very male dominated culture - which most of these are. I was expected to have an arranged marriage and follow all cultural and religious values. I was baptised at 11 and I didnt even know about it. I was left in a room and found out in the room what was going on. 
    I'm now 40 so at about 20, I started a personal journey as I lost my Father suddenly - the closest person to me at that time. Him dying was the worst thing that happened to me but at the same time it was the best because I began to question life. I began to open up and challenged everything. It took around 15 years from that point to break out of all of the brainwashing and conditioning before I could really be free. I went back and forth many times not feeling comfortable alone. I have had many occasions where I felt like the bastard child among 4 siblings who blindly followed suit. I am totally rejected by all of my family. I feel they are civil to me only because we share blood. My mother will still ask me everytime I speak to her when I am getting married to a nice Sikh man. 
    It took years of feeling wrong and undoing all of the religious ideals they put on me to really work out who I am. And I discovered I'm a loving being of light, just like you. But religion would never have offered that journey. I do think religion is beautiful in some ways and as you say does work in some ways but people have ruined it, twisted it and use it to manipulate for their own gain. That is so, so, so wrong. Also, most texts are not even the original ones so have been twisted for religious gain. How can anyone rely on that information? Moving further, if you give one sentence to ten people, each will construe it differently. So a personal analysis and journey has to be taken to gain a fuller understanding. But culture will not let you do that.

    The only thing that kept me going in those 15 years was my inner voice telling me I am not wrong. God loves me. This helped me along the way. It was not an easy journey believe me. But I made it. I am proof it can be done. I'd love to speak to others and encourage them to do the same but I do not want to be the bastard child again. It's hard being hated when you are full of love. I'm strong but not that strong!

    I have achieved lots in my life but none of that means anything to my family because I never followed the culture, never got married and don't follow the religion. They create separatist ideologies that part us from our human brothers and sisters. It's funny because none of my circle are Indian. I love interacting and learning from others on a conscious level. I have a common saying which is a bit crude - we all bleed, shit and breathe the same. There is no difference between us on a human level. 

    It is also strange how others perceive you. Having brown skin and working in a predominantly Caucasian environment brought its own challenges. I was only seen for being Indian/Sikh. Many assumptions were made, many offensive comments too. But those too made me stronger and who I am, as I learned to forgive. Now if similar comments are made, I know how to respond tactfully. When I was younger, I wasn't so diplomatic and often shocked people with my responses. 
    All of this has taught me never to generalise or assume. I have developed a totally independent way of thinking and perceiving. When I meet someone, I can only judge them on what energy and words are exchanged. The rest is gravy as we say in the UK!  

    I am sorry this is long but I felt it was appropriate. You are not wrong Randy, you are amazing. Having read some of your books and being a person who follows your work, I am impressed at your expertise, knowledge and love. If you are in London, hook me up! Got nothing but love for you Randy ('',). Suky

  5. RG.. In many ways I couldn't agree more. The whole Jihad thing is taking an idea to far, much like the Catholic ideology, "God fearing".. To me that's an oxymoron. Those who believe in a creator regardless of title also know that God is Love. The whole notion that those that follow a book must FEAR God is a paradox at the highest level. As we also know certain spiritual cultures utilize 'guilt and judgement' are both negative at their core. I reject these types of beliefs and behaviors myself and cannot associate with those that embrace them. We must ALL walk to the beat of the 'drum' that resonates deep within us. Love is All There Is.

  6. I absolutely agree and you don't need therapy. You have the balls to speak or write on subjects that most people would NEVER dare touch. Which is why I connected with you from day one. It seems like today more than ever people don't REALLY care about people like they use to. And most people are being conditioned to behave in certain ways due to the mainstream media, friends, family. etc. I guess people have to believe in something if they don't believe in themselves and that's where religion comes into play. I don't see relationships between people getting better its going to get WORST and most people will justify their actions for benefits, profits, and material gain even at the expense of other people. I don't have faith that things will change for the BETTER.  As a man thinks so he becomes...LL

  7. I really believe that your view,on this very important topic, is absolutely something all of us should think about. Very good Randy:))

  8. Hi suky loved your post and it is so enlightening. I thought I was the only Indian Origin (though family left India in 1890s over century ago) who was a die-hard fan of randy gage since 2002.
    Read almost all his books and changed my life totally through upgrade of thinking.
    I tell all of my friends to read from Randys collections
    Strangely I live in london too - [email protected]

  9. Randy, we all need therapy or as I would rather say, food for thought so we can take a look at ourselves to see if we need to change our behavior.  I agree with the core of your post about how wrongly we treat other humans; but, we all need religion whether it has a title or are simply our beliefs derived from our exposures and experiences.  What we establish belief in is a choice.  We as humans don't always make the right choice, but we can choose to change and then take the necessary efforts to do so.  Maybe my religion is ad hoc taking from different religions the things that I choose to employ in my life.  I believe it is good to treat others with kindness, respect and acceptance (Buddhism and others).  I believe we should help our fellow humans in any way we can and that there is something bigger than ourselves; if nothing else, just the belief in itself (Christian).  And there are many other tidbits of other religions I enjoy living with in my life and have incorporated them in some manner of my every day living.
    I believe that one day I will die.  I have no idea where I will go or what will happen next.  Is there a Heaven and a Hell?  I believe I'm in heaven every time I am holding my loved one feeling the peace in my heart and that special feeling I call love.  I believe I'm in hell every time I see some devastating action occurring in our world either to me or to others.  I will die and I only know my body will no longer be of use and will be disposed of in some manner.  Maybe I will become nourishment for one of those dinosaurs and so I would be of use after all?  🙂
    Killing others and using the excuse that it is a result of religious belief is horrendous and frightening beyond anything we can imagine - yet, that practice has been around since the beginning of time.  Treating the human female as as something inferior than the male version is deplorable and inexcusable, and yet, has been around since the beginning of time (I think this is changing, but not fast enough).  Not one sex is better or less than the other.  We are equal and deserve equal respect.  Not accepting others and their beliefs or their choices in how they decide to live is attempting to force your thoughts on them and telling them that your way is right and should be the only way.  Sorry, it's not.
    It is quite the quandary and I don't see a fix that will satisfy me (am I forcing my way here?).  If ISIS wins, then everyone not in line with them dies.  If we as in the rest of the world defeat ISIS by killing them (and those like ISIS) , then we are forcing our views upon them?  How does one fix this?  If we kill them, then aren't we the same as they are?
    I applaud everyone who attempts to calm things down and let everyone live in peace.  We would be living in "Heaven" if we all got along in this world without hurting one another.  I'm only one person, but that's how I choose to live.
    Great post Randy and way to get a lot of thought going out there.  Peace out....

  10. You make the same error as the vast majority of the religious people in believing that the Bible is a record of historical events. For an alternate viewpoint you should read some of Neville Goddard's books. He states at least once in all of his books that he does not believe in the historacity of the scriptures.  I hold the same opinion as Neville Goddard that it most definitely is not. Put simply the Bible is an instruction manual on how your mind works and can teach you to control it (in some measure) in order to harness some of it's infinite power for the ultimate purpose of perfecting oneself. As an example, any time that you see the word "Jesus" in the Bible it is speaking of your imagination. And so for instance it says that nothing is impossible with Jesus...you will have a hard time convincing me that there is something that is impossible for me to imagine. So I have to say that you are mistaken when you call these things irrational and state that everyone must agree with you. Of course it is irrational to think that people actually did the things that are talked about in the physical world and such thinking leads one to have dogmas. But most people have dogmas that they hold near and dear. Dogma is simply deciding that something is absolutely beyond a shadow of a true and will always be true. You have a dogma that anyone that reads the Bible is irrational, you have set it in stone and there is a very good chance that even this post will not break you out of that obviously false way of thinking.

  11. dmarkdw I'm afraid you're missing the point here.  It's not relevant whether I think the Bible is a historical document, or I read it in a literal or metaphysical way.  The issue is there are millions of people who do read their holy books in a literal way and base their behavior upon those beliefs.   And many of those beliefs are dangerous to society.  -RG

  12. "I never suggested religious people don’t think rationally; I have stated it unequivocally numerous times."
    That part made me laugh and smile.
    Challenge the status quo Brother Randy!

  13. Well, there was a writer - Graham Green - he wrote a book - "The Power and The Glory". I asvise to read it. All the answers are in this superb book.

  14. dmarkdw Dude, you read things in this article that just aren't there --historical record? Dogma, really? RG is pointing out and showing the irrationality of any religious/theological belief that violate basic human rights. You have one of the strangest views of the bible I've ever heard & I'm a student of religion/spirituality. But hey, that's your basic human right -more power to you. Me I prefer to study metaphysics and quantum realities to be a co-creator with the Universe of my own life.

  15. No, you don't need therapy RG. You make some very strong points. Society does need to focus more on making sure basic human rights are guaranteed to all.

  16. Religion is not required for people to behave morally and ethically. The golden rule is enough. As long as people believe in talking snakes, resurrections, and celestial parents guiding their every move, society will struggle to evolve. Religion must be eradicated or it's delusional purveyors will destroy the world. Unfortunately, as long as human beings are afraid to grow up emotionally and accept their mortality, this is unlikely to happen. Good post, RG.

  17. Regardless, of my strict religious upbringing, I don't condeme others belief. when your belief effects another human, either Physically, financially or emotionally, then you must answer for that. The problem as I see it is accountability. Most religious people want to be accepted and "approved" of by their religious leader and group. So, the responsibility lies with the LEADER, to condem the action, and the GROUP to hold them accountable.... until the leaders and group work together...... people will continue to be enslaved and murdered.....

  18. Well said. There are some very disturbing events and mind sets in the Bible that have always made me wonder how people can accept them as blind truth. One such case is in the Old Testament where you should kill your child should he or she curse at you. Really??? Another prime example is "wives, submit to your husbands". I've heard so many explanations of that scripture it makes my head hurt. When I've questioned these topics with my Bible-believing friends, their take on it is "those are just the times of the culture" and dismiss those scriptures yet will tell me they believe every word in the Bible is inspired or ordered from God. What a dichotomy in their thinking.

  19. Randy I believe you have a mind & body unique to you .  My make up includes faith in a higher power.  Every generation since the beginning of time has had these options.  I do not believe in destroying any one or their beliefs if they do not conform to mine.

  20. Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is pretty incredible, and life affirming. That is probably why it's so hated by so many people. It removes the Herd mentality and blind obedience to Authority as the measure of value and places the Individual and his or her rights as the measure of value. 
    She did say a few off color things, and was wrong in some instances, but for a human being, she was remarkably consistent throughout her life in what she thought and did. 
    Her Philosophy is so good, that it is hard to refute. Opponents of it must resort to attacking her personally, rather than attempting to refute her ideas.
    I highly suggest reading "The Virtue of Selfishness", which is a collection of essays. It's far easier to get into than her novels, which while good, can take awhile to read. 

    "The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival—not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the “aspirations,” the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never outgrown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.
    The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value."
    “The Objectivist Ethics,”
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/ayn-rand-works/the-virtue-of-selfishness.html, 31 by Ayn Rand

  21. Randy, you sound wishy-washy.  You know as well as I that you can't have both.  Hopefully, all supernatural bullshit (especially religion) will be a thing of the past.  I hope for a day when there is a thunderous pop (people pulling their heads out of their asses) and we have a world of enlightenment.

  22. We can argue and debate gravity all day long ... it still is what it is, and doesn't even consider our thoughts and opinions.
    Humanity is a collective consciousness, and just like gravity ... it is what it is regardless of what we think about it.
    At the esoteric core of each of the major religions, great teachers gave their best shot at helping those around them understand who they were and what they were up against. Unfortunately, people being people, the religions built on or around those teachings may have veered of course. 
    Simon Sinek's book Why explores what happened when visionary leaders passed the baton on to successors. There was a significant decline in culture and profit. When those same founders came back and renewed the reason and purpose for who they were and why they did what they did, everything started to come back on line.
    Isn't it a similar scenario with religion? I can't help but wonder what the founders of our major religions would think about what's being done in today's world - in their name.
    We can do so much better - we just have to start putting our heads and hearts together so that it can happen. Anything which supports that seems to me to be in alignment with prosperity.

  23. Religions - "may have veered off course"? 72 virgins if you blow yourself up on a bus full of women and children, planet Kolab, galactic emperor Xenu, God sends tornadoes and gives children autism because he is mad at our acceptance of gays, God hates America and "fags", and is killing our soldiers because of our sinful ways. Yeah, maybe veered ever so slightly.  Shit, people, what is it going to take for you to realize that religion has not just "veered of course" but has crashed, burned, and rolled down a 500 foot embankment?  Let's start hearing that popping sound of heads being pulled out of asses so we can start building a society based on common-sense and logic.  Trust me, the world would be a lot better.

  24. Barry Moniak Religions - "may have veered off course"? 72 virgins if you blow yourself up on a bus full of women and children, planet Kolab, galactic emperor Xenu, God sends tornadoes and gives children autism because he is mad at our acceptance of gays, God hates America and "fags", and is killing our soldiers because of our sinful ways. Yeah, maybe veered ever so slightly.  Shit, people, what is it going to take for you to realize that religion has not just "veered of course" but has crashed, burned, and rolled down a 500 foot embankment?  Let's start hearing that popping sound of heads being pulled out of asses so we can start building a society based on common-sense and logic.  Trust me, the world would be a lot better.

  25. The higher power existed too in times of writing the bible. It doesn't mean it was translated correctly. For example: The first New Testament writings were put down 200 years after crucifiction. Do you think they actually contain actual words of the teacher. Probably testimonials were even falsified at the beginning to produce false evidence that could help to indict J. I can imagine that the need to keep people benighted existed at earlier times too.

  26. The group of people who mostly try to influence my mind negatively are religious people. Prosperous people are spiritual but not much religious because all the religions have their "problems".
    In fact a couple of days ago one of them saw my DREAM BOARD and started talking about how i should forget all those things and go to church.   I ADMIRE YOU A LOT RANDY FOR TAKING SO MUCH OF YOUR PRECIOUS TIME TO TALK ABOUT THIS TOPIC. 
    THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Paulo Castro

  27. It is the mark of an educated mind
    to be able to entertain a thought
    without accepting it.
    - Aristotle
    The most dangerous idea/religion of all?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uVV2Dcqt0 (not for the faint of heart)
    Some further food for thought:
    - http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/massacre.html
    - http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM
    - http://freedomkeys.com/collectivism.htm
    - http://twitter.com/1Marchella/status/468173943573348352

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0MPIXfaRbs
    - http://twitter.com/Zimobog/status/584869911542935552

  28. Whoa, Randy!  Messin' with religion can be dangerous.  My many years on earth have taught me that, when you pin the ears back on a believing Christian with words like proof and logic, they'll either fall back on that universal unarguable reason "They have faith," or they'll breakout the torches and pitchforks to reinforce their points.  Personally, I love religion, as it's about as painless a way as there is to keep the masses in line.  When I watch my wife drive out in her car to go somewhere, I want every driver on the road to be "God fearing" enough they believe if they "screw up," they spend eternity in some really crappy place.  The Catholics learned long ago that it's a lot cheaper to "convert" the newly conquered by sending in the priests rather than sending in a army to gain control.  Plus, it fosters some outstanding comedy!  I enjoy every opportunity I get to respond to someone who tells me they were "born again" by mentioning I didn't need to be as "I did it right the first time!"
    As to religions that espouse "believe what I tell you or I will kill you," shame on them!  That's just plain unsociable behavior!  In the end, I think my father said it best....  "People are a miserable bunch of bastards!"

  29. What is funny is that I have been watching a youtube channel call ed the school of life. These are supposed to be objective philosophers but they too were infected with a meme without even knowing about it. The video I was watching was titled "status anxiety". During the clip they said so next time you see someone driving an expensive sports car have compassion for them as they bought it because they are compensating for something. They are a lost soul seeking approval and need to be loved or something like that. Rather than saying they are a happy person celebrating and enjoying their success they said they acquired wealth as a compensatory measure of some sort and not being prosperous because it is our natural condition an Randy states ( a statement which I cannot argue with ) . So they are saying people go out to get rich because they are unhappy and its merely compensatory. - A destructive meme they were infected with. Well, that's my two cents worth.

  30. And I just remembered - They were saying the next time you see a GREEDY person driving an expensive sports car - and they gave a bright red Ferrari as their example - we should have compassion for them etc. They sub-consciously interjected the word GREEDY in there. These so-called objective philosophers have been infected with the - Rich People are Greedy meme, and are superficial, and aren't really happy etc. - And being rich won't make you happy so don't even bother trying etc. That was their sub-text. Now I would not have picked up on it if it wasn't for Randy's teachings. Ever since Dumb, Sick, and Broke I see these memes everywhere. They don't get past me anymore.

  31. Edward dd Devero I only dislike people who earned their fortunes dishonestly and people who don't have them that are so fearful and jealous they want to punish other people for success or attempting to honestly achievement, Usually they do it while telling others it's evil to have money, a fulfilling career or business, and be happy.
    It's amazing how many successful people in the arts, entertainment, and business destroy the path to honest achievement either out of guilt or because they feel threatened by competition. There are also many people with decent jobs that rather than take the risk to do something themselves, instead decide their boss is to blame for why they don't own a yacht. 
    Seeing a nice car, I know nothing about the actions or character of the people who own it. I've known some well off people with nice houses and nice cars that were genuinely happy. I think genuinely evil people and people who've bought into the idea of life being miserable are the real monsters, not rich and successful people. 
    People can be snobbish and want to hold others back no matter how much they have or they don't.
    I have known people who compensate for a lack of self-esteem with status or material objects, but I have also known people who enjoy dressing well, owning art, and like to drive a vehicle that makes their heart race. 
    The people who own things because they want to enjoy them tend to be more level-headed than the "keeping with the Jones'" or "I am going to show mom and dad they're wrong" types who look rich, and might be on paper, but are so over-leveraged financially, they might as well be poor. 
    I am aware that being worth wealthy or upper middle class and having opportunities do to that makes life a lot easier than being born poor or born in a dysfunctional family which spends more than it makes. However, people can still end up losers despite having everything and people with the least can end up being major success stories. 
    Persistence, grit, being good at something and self-esteem can go a long way.

  32. I  struggle with the same dilemma.  How can killing in the name of religion EVER be justified when it is a commandment to not commit it?  Self-defence, is understandable when there is noooo other option -   but killing someone because a person does not follow the selected law(s) does not mean one law should be broken for another.  This is where such action is void of Divinity and full of the shadowy side of humanity, and we know from history how big and cold that shadow can get.  My feeling though, throughout my life, is that Love is the most powerful force in the universe and the more we can share this, the more healed the shadow becomes.

  33. Nancy Hall Nancy, I agree with your comment.  The notion of showing love for others as our first option is what has drawn me over the years to the teachings of Christ.  He presented that as the first and greatest commandment at a time when the prevailing religious law was the opposite.  And also at a time when the cultural norm of the day still reflected the notions of the Greek Philosophers of the 5th Century BC that were far more oriented toward "self indulgence"......I appreciated your insight.

  34. @Alan Stone Of course your video shows enormous amounts of Pres. Obama's images but Bush was one of the worst offenders.  He believed that his decisions were directly inspired by God.  We do not have a democracy, we have a plutocracy.  It always has been and it always will be.  The average human is too stupid to think for themselves.  They need religious leaders and politicians to tell them what to do.

  35. We have to start to look behind the words. Who is really speaking here? And we have to realize that it is forces speaking. The same force can stand behind a religious concept as the one that tells us junk food is ok for lunch everyday or kommunism is the best political way to rule a country. It is only names. Names on outer appearances. But what is it in discuise? Who is hidden back there? We have to learn to read in the spiritual so that we understand when things are right and wrong. Sometimes something that seems to be the savour of the world can be very bad!
    Not every great leader who talks about freedom is capable of giving something to the world that actually creates freedom for humanity. And there are lots of examples of great people throughout history who gave some really good thoughts and concepts about how to change ones life and ones thoughts, but when other people adopted these concepts they became very evil...and yes, I guess we have to be clever enough OURSELFES to be able to choose what is best for us, from time to time. I do not think there are on doctrine able to save the humanity. It is HOW we read it, WHAT we do about it and WHO we speak to and use it for that counts. TODAY is more about HOW than WHAT we do. The holy spirit comes to those who have the right HOWS. And if tomorrow that changes, the holy spirit will be gone. Amen.

  36. Randy, you are right. I have an acquaintance - while young he dedicated himself to music rock-ma-roll. He learned to play guitar. In Soviet time in Russia he was an idol for youngsters. He started to behave himself like an idol...borrowing money from friends and never paying them back...stealing things from friends...restaurants,,he abused women and slept with them and after called them bitches and whores...soon no musician wanted to play with that bastard...Capitalism came to Russia and soon he found himself in dire straits...he joined racket and started to call businessmen DIRTY WORDS,,,He burnt their country houses...at the same time he joined the Russian ORTHODOX CHURCH ACADEMY (GRANMOTHER efforts:))))))). He graduated from it and joined clergy...and he preaches bible and still call businessmen DIRTY WORDS (low clergy does not get much money in Russia:))))). What he can teach me...How to read bible, how to live in poverty and be HAPPY. Alas, he can teach me nothing. By the way, he keeps on stealing:)))))))))))). Thank you, Randy for your rants. I always watch them with interest.

  37. Randy, you are right. I have an acquaintance. While young he dedicated himself to rock-n-roll- he played guitar. In Soviet Russia he was an idol for teenagers. He started to behave himself like a pig...borrowing money from friends and never paying them back, high life...restaurants, booz,drugs, criminals around worshipping him...he seduced women and after called them bitches and whores..he stole things...he behave himself liek an idol and soon no musician wanted to play with him:)))). And more.,..capitalism came to Russia and he found himself in dire straits...no money to live...he did not want to play in the restaurants and bars...he chose to join racket...easy money..and he joined the Russian Orthodox Church Academy (efforts of his grandmama)..he studied...restaurants, criminals, easy going women...burning country houses of businesmen whoom he called DIrty Words.:)))). Soon police was on his tail..He had a narrow escape. He graduated from the Academy and  dropped racket and STARTED PREACHING BIBLE and he continued to call businesmen dirty words. Low clergy does not get much money in Russia. So present day...HE TEACHES CHARISTIANITY...PReaches bible and continue calling evrybody around him DIrty words. His best friend is a drug dealer from Uzbekistan. They say...he keeps on stealing things. I do not want to learn from him a bit. Thank you, Randy, for your rants. I am waiting for them with interest^)))))))))))))).
    Live rich:)))))
    There is another preacher in US..he is againts capitalism..he is also againts banks...and interest...and he preaches bible...
    https://youtu.be/VggHvnmVSrs
    I borrowed money from a Russian bank at 30% of interest and made 100% of profit, I prey this bank lives long and happy cause I am going to borrow more:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))). I live happy, free life, going to launch one more business in St.Petersburg. I have made friends with busy people around the Globe and we work on some projects. My life has become interesting and there are things to thank Randy. I have grown into a man with courage who is not afraid to risk. And I am going to avoid BIBLE PREACHERS. Life is too short to listen to their nonsense and spend time with them:)))))))))))))

  38. All religions emanate from the SAME root which has it's foundation in Teachings long forgotten by the humanity from time immemorial. As they say, 'all religions are pearls hung on the golden thread of Divinity.' However, most teachings in these times have been adulterated or destroyed by so-called 'religious leaders' of our time who only persist in confusing poor suffering humanity deeper & deeper, ensnaring them in so much indoctrination that they lose the capacity to think rationally & with discerning logic.

    -Rick

  39. Estoy de acuerdo en generar transformacion mental hacia una sociedad mas humana y humanizada... e iluminada. Gracias RG por tus reflexiones y cuestionamientos.

  40. "Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
    by the wise as false,
    and by the rulers as useful."
    - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    If the books are incorrect, and religions are based on the books, are religions really helping?
    Are there better ways to get people where they want to go and be happy, healthy & prosperous at the same time?
    Should we be reading different books?

    Basically I stay out of churches/religions. I've tried several, but didn't like any.
    I tried to pick helpful sayings from the Bible. Now I read different books.
    You need to research the religious beliefs and results. Actually you could just look at what society is struggling with.

    I have to study.

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  • 54 comments on “Fighting Dangerous Ideas”

    1. I don't think Noah had two dinosaurs, but I think he had some rhinos that kinda look like them. Easy mistake considering all the animals there.

    2. You're on the money as usual. While the basic tenets of most religions are good (
      i.e. golden rule) it is the power and control group that seem to always
      rise to the top that have caused so many problems over the centuries.
      That has resulted in loss of true spirituality in the name of Religion.

    3. Randy, as your argument from you original post is extended I am able to understand your perspective better and find common opinions.  I do believe, however, that you are placing undue emphasis on rationality.  Artists, philosophers, academics, historians and clerics cannot agree on how to define nor value rationality.  The book Natural Reasoning (authored I believe by Dr. Stephen Thomas, explores this dilemma).  I agree with you, however, that any religious expression that demeans individuals or people should be questioned and challenged.  As a follower of Christ, I find his teaching in the New Testament to be meaningful for my life and eventual physical death.  His basic premise to love others as you love yourself remains the most selfless of declarations ever made by public leaders, regardless of faith or belief.  The Old Testament, read away from the context of Christ' teaching and the New Testament is problematic.  So, it is my goal to think and act in a way that the teaching of Christ can be seen thru me....yet to do so can often lead to irrational acts.  An example would be the Egyptian Christians murdered by ISIS for their following Christ who did not resist and did not run.  So, I read the words of Christ in the New Testament and the words of Kerrikergard in Sickness Until Death...the obvious tension seems to bring harmony to my day.  Keep writing - your words are causing us to think and what a man or woman thinks determines what they do...

    4. Hey Randy. Thanks for this post. I am so with you and feel your comments are rational. Having been brought up in a strict Indian/Sikh religious and cultural background, all my power and strength was stripped away from me from birth. Even more so as a female in a very male dominated culture - which most of these are. I was expected to have an arranged marriage and follow all cultural and religious values. I was baptised at 11 and I didnt even know about it. I was left in a room and found out in the room what was going on. 
      I'm now 40 so at about 20, I started a personal journey as I lost my Father suddenly - the closest person to me at that time. Him dying was the worst thing that happened to me but at the same time it was the best because I began to question life. I began to open up and challenged everything. It took around 15 years from that point to break out of all of the brainwashing and conditioning before I could really be free. I went back and forth many times not feeling comfortable alone. I have had many occasions where I felt like the bastard child among 4 siblings who blindly followed suit. I am totally rejected by all of my family. I feel they are civil to me only because we share blood. My mother will still ask me everytime I speak to her when I am getting married to a nice Sikh man. 
      It took years of feeling wrong and undoing all of the religious ideals they put on me to really work out who I am. And I discovered I'm a loving being of light, just like you. But religion would never have offered that journey. I do think religion is beautiful in some ways and as you say does work in some ways but people have ruined it, twisted it and use it to manipulate for their own gain. That is so, so, so wrong. Also, most texts are not even the original ones so have been twisted for religious gain. How can anyone rely on that information? Moving further, if you give one sentence to ten people, each will construe it differently. So a personal analysis and journey has to be taken to gain a fuller understanding. But culture will not let you do that.

      The only thing that kept me going in those 15 years was my inner voice telling me I am not wrong. God loves me. This helped me along the way. It was not an easy journey believe me. But I made it. I am proof it can be done. I'd love to speak to others and encourage them to do the same but I do not want to be the bastard child again. It's hard being hated when you are full of love. I'm strong but not that strong!

      I have achieved lots in my life but none of that means anything to my family because I never followed the culture, never got married and don't follow the religion. They create separatist ideologies that part us from our human brothers and sisters. It's funny because none of my circle are Indian. I love interacting and learning from others on a conscious level. I have a common saying which is a bit crude - we all bleed, shit and breathe the same. There is no difference between us on a human level. 

      It is also strange how others perceive you. Having brown skin and working in a predominantly Caucasian environment brought its own challenges. I was only seen for being Indian/Sikh. Many assumptions were made, many offensive comments too. But those too made me stronger and who I am, as I learned to forgive. Now if similar comments are made, I know how to respond tactfully. When I was younger, I wasn't so diplomatic and often shocked people with my responses. 
      All of this has taught me never to generalise or assume. I have developed a totally independent way of thinking and perceiving. When I meet someone, I can only judge them on what energy and words are exchanged. The rest is gravy as we say in the UK!  

      I am sorry this is long but I felt it was appropriate. You are not wrong Randy, you are amazing. Having read some of your books and being a person who follows your work, I am impressed at your expertise, knowledge and love. If you are in London, hook me up! Got nothing but love for you Randy ('',). Suky

    5. RG.. In many ways I couldn't agree more. The whole Jihad thing is taking an idea to far, much like the Catholic ideology, "God fearing".. To me that's an oxymoron. Those who believe in a creator regardless of title also know that God is Love. The whole notion that those that follow a book must FEAR God is a paradox at the highest level. As we also know certain spiritual cultures utilize 'guilt and judgement' are both negative at their core. I reject these types of beliefs and behaviors myself and cannot associate with those that embrace them. We must ALL walk to the beat of the 'drum' that resonates deep within us. Love is All There Is.

    6. I absolutely agree and you don't need therapy. You have the balls to speak or write on subjects that most people would NEVER dare touch. Which is why I connected with you from day one. It seems like today more than ever people don't REALLY care about people like they use to. And most people are being conditioned to behave in certain ways due to the mainstream media, friends, family. etc. I guess people have to believe in something if they don't believe in themselves and that's where religion comes into play. I don't see relationships between people getting better its going to get WORST and most people will justify their actions for benefits, profits, and material gain even at the expense of other people. I don't have faith that things will change for the BETTER.  As a man thinks so he becomes...LL

    7. I really believe that your view,on this very important topic, is absolutely something all of us should think about. Very good Randy:))

    8. Hi suky loved your post and it is so enlightening. I thought I was the only Indian Origin (though family left India in 1890s over century ago) who was a die-hard fan of randy gage since 2002.
      Read almost all his books and changed my life totally through upgrade of thinking.
      I tell all of my friends to read from Randys collections
      Strangely I live in london too - [email protected]

    9. Randy, we all need therapy or as I would rather say, food for thought so we can take a look at ourselves to see if we need to change our behavior.  I agree with the core of your post about how wrongly we treat other humans; but, we all need religion whether it has a title or are simply our beliefs derived from our exposures and experiences.  What we establish belief in is a choice.  We as humans don't always make the right choice, but we can choose to change and then take the necessary efforts to do so.  Maybe my religion is ad hoc taking from different religions the things that I choose to employ in my life.  I believe it is good to treat others with kindness, respect and acceptance (Buddhism and others).  I believe we should help our fellow humans in any way we can and that there is something bigger than ourselves; if nothing else, just the belief in itself (Christian).  And there are many other tidbits of other religions I enjoy living with in my life and have incorporated them in some manner of my every day living.
      I believe that one day I will die.  I have no idea where I will go or what will happen next.  Is there a Heaven and a Hell?  I believe I'm in heaven every time I am holding my loved one feeling the peace in my heart and that special feeling I call love.  I believe I'm in hell every time I see some devastating action occurring in our world either to me or to others.  I will die and I only know my body will no longer be of use and will be disposed of in some manner.  Maybe I will become nourishment for one of those dinosaurs and so I would be of use after all?  🙂
      Killing others and using the excuse that it is a result of religious belief is horrendous and frightening beyond anything we can imagine - yet, that practice has been around since the beginning of time.  Treating the human female as as something inferior than the male version is deplorable and inexcusable, and yet, has been around since the beginning of time (I think this is changing, but not fast enough).  Not one sex is better or less than the other.  We are equal and deserve equal respect.  Not accepting others and their beliefs or their choices in how they decide to live is attempting to force your thoughts on them and telling them that your way is right and should be the only way.  Sorry, it's not.
      It is quite the quandary and I don't see a fix that will satisfy me (am I forcing my way here?).  If ISIS wins, then everyone not in line with them dies.  If we as in the rest of the world defeat ISIS by killing them (and those like ISIS) , then we are forcing our views upon them?  How does one fix this?  If we kill them, then aren't we the same as they are?
      I applaud everyone who attempts to calm things down and let everyone live in peace.  We would be living in "Heaven" if we all got along in this world without hurting one another.  I'm only one person, but that's how I choose to live.
      Great post Randy and way to get a lot of thought going out there.  Peace out....

    10. You make the same error as the vast majority of the religious people in believing that the Bible is a record of historical events. For an alternate viewpoint you should read some of Neville Goddard's books. He states at least once in all of his books that he does not believe in the historacity of the scriptures.  I hold the same opinion as Neville Goddard that it most definitely is not. Put simply the Bible is an instruction manual on how your mind works and can teach you to control it (in some measure) in order to harness some of it's infinite power for the ultimate purpose of perfecting oneself. As an example, any time that you see the word "Jesus" in the Bible it is speaking of your imagination. And so for instance it says that nothing is impossible with Jesus...you will have a hard time convincing me that there is something that is impossible for me to imagine. So I have to say that you are mistaken when you call these things irrational and state that everyone must agree with you. Of course it is irrational to think that people actually did the things that are talked about in the physical world and such thinking leads one to have dogmas. But most people have dogmas that they hold near and dear. Dogma is simply deciding that something is absolutely beyond a shadow of a true and will always be true. You have a dogma that anyone that reads the Bible is irrational, you have set it in stone and there is a very good chance that even this post will not break you out of that obviously false way of thinking.

    11. dmarkdw I'm afraid you're missing the point here.  It's not relevant whether I think the Bible is a historical document, or I read it in a literal or metaphysical way.  The issue is there are millions of people who do read their holy books in a literal way and base their behavior upon those beliefs.   And many of those beliefs are dangerous to society.  -RG

    12. "I never suggested religious people don’t think rationally; I have stated it unequivocally numerous times."
      That part made me laugh and smile.
      Challenge the status quo Brother Randy!

    13. Well, there was a writer - Graham Green - he wrote a book - "The Power and The Glory". I asvise to read it. All the answers are in this superb book.

    14. dmarkdw Dude, you read things in this article that just aren't there --historical record? Dogma, really? RG is pointing out and showing the irrationality of any religious/theological belief that violate basic human rights. You have one of the strangest views of the bible I've ever heard & I'm a student of religion/spirituality. But hey, that's your basic human right -more power to you. Me I prefer to study metaphysics and quantum realities to be a co-creator with the Universe of my own life.

    15. No, you don't need therapy RG. You make some very strong points. Society does need to focus more on making sure basic human rights are guaranteed to all.

    16. Religion is not required for people to behave morally and ethically. The golden rule is enough. As long as people believe in talking snakes, resurrections, and celestial parents guiding their every move, society will struggle to evolve. Religion must be eradicated or it's delusional purveyors will destroy the world. Unfortunately, as long as human beings are afraid to grow up emotionally and accept their mortality, this is unlikely to happen. Good post, RG.

    17. Regardless, of my strict religious upbringing, I don't condeme others belief. when your belief effects another human, either Physically, financially or emotionally, then you must answer for that. The problem as I see it is accountability. Most religious people want to be accepted and "approved" of by their religious leader and group. So, the responsibility lies with the LEADER, to condem the action, and the GROUP to hold them accountable.... until the leaders and group work together...... people will continue to be enslaved and murdered.....

    18. Well said. There are some very disturbing events and mind sets in the Bible that have always made me wonder how people can accept them as blind truth. One such case is in the Old Testament where you should kill your child should he or she curse at you. Really??? Another prime example is "wives, submit to your husbands". I've heard so many explanations of that scripture it makes my head hurt. When I've questioned these topics with my Bible-believing friends, their take on it is "those are just the times of the culture" and dismiss those scriptures yet will tell me they believe every word in the Bible is inspired or ordered from God. What a dichotomy in their thinking.

    19. Randy I believe you have a mind & body unique to you .  My make up includes faith in a higher power.  Every generation since the beginning of time has had these options.  I do not believe in destroying any one or their beliefs if they do not conform to mine.

    20. Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is pretty incredible, and life affirming. That is probably why it's so hated by so many people. It removes the Herd mentality and blind obedience to Authority as the measure of value and places the Individual and his or her rights as the measure of value. 
      She did say a few off color things, and was wrong in some instances, but for a human being, she was remarkably consistent throughout her life in what she thought and did. 
      Her Philosophy is so good, that it is hard to refute. Opponents of it must resort to attacking her personally, rather than attempting to refute her ideas.
      I highly suggest reading "The Virtue of Selfishness", which is a collection of essays. It's far easier to get into than her novels, which while good, can take awhile to read. 

      "The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival—not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the “aspirations,” the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never outgrown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.
      The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value."
      “The Objectivist Ethics,”
      http://aynrandlexicon.com/ayn-rand-works/the-virtue-of-selfishness.html, 31 by Ayn Rand

    21. Randy, you sound wishy-washy.  You know as well as I that you can't have both.  Hopefully, all supernatural bullshit (especially religion) will be a thing of the past.  I hope for a day when there is a thunderous pop (people pulling their heads out of their asses) and we have a world of enlightenment.

    22. We can argue and debate gravity all day long ... it still is what it is, and doesn't even consider our thoughts and opinions.
      Humanity is a collective consciousness, and just like gravity ... it is what it is regardless of what we think about it.
      At the esoteric core of each of the major religions, great teachers gave their best shot at helping those around them understand who they were and what they were up against. Unfortunately, people being people, the religions built on or around those teachings may have veered of course. 
      Simon Sinek's book Why explores what happened when visionary leaders passed the baton on to successors. There was a significant decline in culture and profit. When those same founders came back and renewed the reason and purpose for who they were and why they did what they did, everything started to come back on line.
      Isn't it a similar scenario with religion? I can't help but wonder what the founders of our major religions would think about what's being done in today's world - in their name.
      We can do so much better - we just have to start putting our heads and hearts together so that it can happen. Anything which supports that seems to me to be in alignment with prosperity.

    23. Religions - "may have veered off course"? 72 virgins if you blow yourself up on a bus full of women and children, planet Kolab, galactic emperor Xenu, God sends tornadoes and gives children autism because he is mad at our acceptance of gays, God hates America and "fags", and is killing our soldiers because of our sinful ways. Yeah, maybe veered ever so slightly.  Shit, people, what is it going to take for you to realize that religion has not just "veered of course" but has crashed, burned, and rolled down a 500 foot embankment?  Let's start hearing that popping sound of heads being pulled out of asses so we can start building a society based on common-sense and logic.  Trust me, the world would be a lot better.

    24. Barry Moniak Religions - "may have veered off course"? 72 virgins if you blow yourself up on a bus full of women and children, planet Kolab, galactic emperor Xenu, God sends tornadoes and gives children autism because he is mad at our acceptance of gays, God hates America and "fags", and is killing our soldiers because of our sinful ways. Yeah, maybe veered ever so slightly.  Shit, people, what is it going to take for you to realize that religion has not just "veered of course" but has crashed, burned, and rolled down a 500 foot embankment?  Let's start hearing that popping sound of heads being pulled out of asses so we can start building a society based on common-sense and logic.  Trust me, the world would be a lot better.

    25. The higher power existed too in times of writing the bible. It doesn't mean it was translated correctly. For example: The first New Testament writings were put down 200 years after crucifiction. Do you think they actually contain actual words of the teacher. Probably testimonials were even falsified at the beginning to produce false evidence that could help to indict J. I can imagine that the need to keep people benighted existed at earlier times too.

    26. The group of people who mostly try to influence my mind negatively are religious people. Prosperous people are spiritual but not much religious because all the religions have their "problems".
      In fact a couple of days ago one of them saw my DREAM BOARD and started talking about how i should forget all those things and go to church.   I ADMIRE YOU A LOT RANDY FOR TAKING SO MUCH OF YOUR PRECIOUS TIME TO TALK ABOUT THIS TOPIC. 
      THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Paulo Castro

    27. It is the mark of an educated mind
      to be able to entertain a thought
      without accepting it.
      - Aristotle
      The most dangerous idea/religion of all?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uVV2Dcqt0 (not for the faint of heart)
      Some further food for thought:
      - http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/massacre.html
      - http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM
      - http://freedomkeys.com/collectivism.htm
      - http://twitter.com/1Marchella/status/468173943573348352

      - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0MPIXfaRbs
      - http://twitter.com/Zimobog/status/584869911542935552

    28. Whoa, Randy!  Messin' with religion can be dangerous.  My many years on earth have taught me that, when you pin the ears back on a believing Christian with words like proof and logic, they'll either fall back on that universal unarguable reason "They have faith," or they'll breakout the torches and pitchforks to reinforce their points.  Personally, I love religion, as it's about as painless a way as there is to keep the masses in line.  When I watch my wife drive out in her car to go somewhere, I want every driver on the road to be "God fearing" enough they believe if they "screw up," they spend eternity in some really crappy place.  The Catholics learned long ago that it's a lot cheaper to "convert" the newly conquered by sending in the priests rather than sending in a army to gain control.  Plus, it fosters some outstanding comedy!  I enjoy every opportunity I get to respond to someone who tells me they were "born again" by mentioning I didn't need to be as "I did it right the first time!"
      As to religions that espouse "believe what I tell you or I will kill you," shame on them!  That's just plain unsociable behavior!  In the end, I think my father said it best....  "People are a miserable bunch of bastards!"

    29. What is funny is that I have been watching a youtube channel call ed the school of life. These are supposed to be objective philosophers but they too were infected with a meme without even knowing about it. The video I was watching was titled "status anxiety". During the clip they said so next time you see someone driving an expensive sports car have compassion for them as they bought it because they are compensating for something. They are a lost soul seeking approval and need to be loved or something like that. Rather than saying they are a happy person celebrating and enjoying their success they said they acquired wealth as a compensatory measure of some sort and not being prosperous because it is our natural condition an Randy states ( a statement which I cannot argue with ) . So they are saying people go out to get rich because they are unhappy and its merely compensatory. - A destructive meme they were infected with. Well, that's my two cents worth.

    30. And I just remembered - They were saying the next time you see a GREEDY person driving an expensive sports car - and they gave a bright red Ferrari as their example - we should have compassion for them etc. They sub-consciously interjected the word GREEDY in there. These so-called objective philosophers have been infected with the - Rich People are Greedy meme, and are superficial, and aren't really happy etc. - And being rich won't make you happy so don't even bother trying etc. That was their sub-text. Now I would not have picked up on it if it wasn't for Randy's teachings. Ever since Dumb, Sick, and Broke I see these memes everywhere. They don't get past me anymore.

    31. Edward dd Devero I only dislike people who earned their fortunes dishonestly and people who don't have them that are so fearful and jealous they want to punish other people for success or attempting to honestly achievement, Usually they do it while telling others it's evil to have money, a fulfilling career or business, and be happy.
      It's amazing how many successful people in the arts, entertainment, and business destroy the path to honest achievement either out of guilt or because they feel threatened by competition. There are also many people with decent jobs that rather than take the risk to do something themselves, instead decide their boss is to blame for why they don't own a yacht. 
      Seeing a nice car, I know nothing about the actions or character of the people who own it. I've known some well off people with nice houses and nice cars that were genuinely happy. I think genuinely evil people and people who've bought into the idea of life being miserable are the real monsters, not rich and successful people. 
      People can be snobbish and want to hold others back no matter how much they have or they don't.
      I have known people who compensate for a lack of self-esteem with status or material objects, but I have also known people who enjoy dressing well, owning art, and like to drive a vehicle that makes their heart race. 
      The people who own things because they want to enjoy them tend to be more level-headed than the "keeping with the Jones'" or "I am going to show mom and dad they're wrong" types who look rich, and might be on paper, but are so over-leveraged financially, they might as well be poor. 
      I am aware that being worth wealthy or upper middle class and having opportunities do to that makes life a lot easier than being born poor or born in a dysfunctional family which spends more than it makes. However, people can still end up losers despite having everything and people with the least can end up being major success stories. 
      Persistence, grit, being good at something and self-esteem can go a long way.

    32. I  struggle with the same dilemma.  How can killing in the name of religion EVER be justified when it is a commandment to not commit it?  Self-defence, is understandable when there is noooo other option -   but killing someone because a person does not follow the selected law(s) does not mean one law should be broken for another.  This is where such action is void of Divinity and full of the shadowy side of humanity, and we know from history how big and cold that shadow can get.  My feeling though, throughout my life, is that Love is the most powerful force in the universe and the more we can share this, the more healed the shadow becomes.

    33. Nancy Hall Nancy, I agree with your comment.  The notion of showing love for others as our first option is what has drawn me over the years to the teachings of Christ.  He presented that as the first and greatest commandment at a time when the prevailing religious law was the opposite.  And also at a time when the cultural norm of the day still reflected the notions of the Greek Philosophers of the 5th Century BC that were far more oriented toward "self indulgence"......I appreciated your insight.

    34. @Alan Stone Of course your video shows enormous amounts of Pres. Obama's images but Bush was one of the worst offenders.  He believed that his decisions were directly inspired by God.  We do not have a democracy, we have a plutocracy.  It always has been and it always will be.  The average human is too stupid to think for themselves.  They need religious leaders and politicians to tell them what to do.

    35. We have to start to look behind the words. Who is really speaking here? And we have to realize that it is forces speaking. The same force can stand behind a religious concept as the one that tells us junk food is ok for lunch everyday or kommunism is the best political way to rule a country. It is only names. Names on outer appearances. But what is it in discuise? Who is hidden back there? We have to learn to read in the spiritual so that we understand when things are right and wrong. Sometimes something that seems to be the savour of the world can be very bad!
      Not every great leader who talks about freedom is capable of giving something to the world that actually creates freedom for humanity. And there are lots of examples of great people throughout history who gave some really good thoughts and concepts about how to change ones life and ones thoughts, but when other people adopted these concepts they became very evil...and yes, I guess we have to be clever enough OURSELFES to be able to choose what is best for us, from time to time. I do not think there are on doctrine able to save the humanity. It is HOW we read it, WHAT we do about it and WHO we speak to and use it for that counts. TODAY is more about HOW than WHAT we do. The holy spirit comes to those who have the right HOWS. And if tomorrow that changes, the holy spirit will be gone. Amen.

    36. Randy, you are right. I have an acquaintance - while young he dedicated himself to music rock-ma-roll. He learned to play guitar. In Soviet time in Russia he was an idol for youngsters. He started to behave himself like an idol...borrowing money from friends and never paying them back...stealing things from friends...restaurants,,he abused women and slept with them and after called them bitches and whores...soon no musician wanted to play with that bastard...Capitalism came to Russia and soon he found himself in dire straits...he joined racket and started to call businessmen DIRTY WORDS,,,He burnt their country houses...at the same time he joined the Russian ORTHODOX CHURCH ACADEMY (GRANMOTHER efforts:))))))). He graduated from it and joined clergy...and he preaches bible and still call businessmen DIRTY WORDS (low clergy does not get much money in Russia:))))). What he can teach me...How to read bible, how to live in poverty and be HAPPY. Alas, he can teach me nothing. By the way, he keeps on stealing:)))))))))))). Thank you, Randy for your rants. I always watch them with interest.

    37. Randy, you are right. I have an acquaintance. While young he dedicated himself to rock-n-roll- he played guitar. In Soviet Russia he was an idol for teenagers. He started to behave himself like a pig...borrowing money from friends and never paying them back, high life...restaurants, booz,drugs, criminals around worshipping him...he seduced women and after called them bitches and whores..he stole things...he behave himself liek an idol and soon no musician wanted to play with him:)))). And more.,..capitalism came to Russia and he found himself in dire straits...no money to live...he did not want to play in the restaurants and bars...he chose to join racket...easy money..and he joined the Russian Orthodox Church Academy (efforts of his grandmama)..he studied...restaurants, criminals, easy going women...burning country houses of businesmen whoom he called DIrty Words.:)))). Soon police was on his tail..He had a narrow escape. He graduated from the Academy and  dropped racket and STARTED PREACHING BIBLE and he continued to call businesmen dirty words. Low clergy does not get much money in Russia. So present day...HE TEACHES CHARISTIANITY...PReaches bible and continue calling evrybody around him DIrty words. His best friend is a drug dealer from Uzbekistan. They say...he keeps on stealing things. I do not want to learn from him a bit. Thank you, Randy, for your rants. I am waiting for them with interest^)))))))))))))).
      Live rich:)))))
      There is another preacher in US..he is againts capitalism..he is also againts banks...and interest...and he preaches bible...
      https://youtu.be/VggHvnmVSrs
      I borrowed money from a Russian bank at 30% of interest and made 100% of profit, I prey this bank lives long and happy cause I am going to borrow more:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))). I live happy, free life, going to launch one more business in St.Petersburg. I have made friends with busy people around the Globe and we work on some projects. My life has become interesting and there are things to thank Randy. I have grown into a man with courage who is not afraid to risk. And I am going to avoid BIBLE PREACHERS. Life is too short to listen to their nonsense and spend time with them:)))))))))))))

    38. All religions emanate from the SAME root which has it's foundation in Teachings long forgotten by the humanity from time immemorial. As they say, 'all religions are pearls hung on the golden thread of Divinity.' However, most teachings in these times have been adulterated or destroyed by so-called 'religious leaders' of our time who only persist in confusing poor suffering humanity deeper & deeper, ensnaring them in so much indoctrination that they lose the capacity to think rationally & with discerning logic.

      -Rick

    39. Estoy de acuerdo en generar transformacion mental hacia una sociedad mas humana y humanizada... e iluminada. Gracias RG por tus reflexiones y cuestionamientos.

    40. "Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
      by the wise as false,
      and by the rulers as useful."
      - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

      If the books are incorrect, and religions are based on the books, are religions really helping?
      Are there better ways to get people where they want to go and be happy, healthy & prosperous at the same time?
      Should we be reading different books?

      Basically I stay out of churches/religions. I've tried several, but didn't like any.
      I tried to pick helpful sayings from the Bible. Now I read different books.
      You need to research the religious beliefs and results. Actually you could just look at what society is struggling with.

      I have to study.

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